Hayley Matthews: A bit more milk of human kindness for NHS please

I've written about my love of the NHS before and I'll say it again: we need to appreciate and cherish this incredible service.

Friday, 16th November 2018, 5:00 am
Hayley has nothing but praise for the hard-working staff of the NHS. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Hayley has nothing but praise for the hard-working staff of the NHS. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

I cringe when I hear people ­complain whilst displaying sheer complacency about something that we take for granted. When I hear people moan about it or be rude to doctors, nurses and NHS staff, I cringe and have to bite my hand to stop myself from launching to their defence.

How anyone can be rude, ungrateful or disparaging to these people is beyond me.

I remember seeing a man waiting with his wife, along with myself and many others in triage about a month ago. He was complaining constantly at people being taken before his wife. The nurse explained to him that they were waiting on equipment, so as soon as that was free they’d be seen. Ironically, in a waiting room full of pregnant women he had the biggest belly by far!

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He was “for f*** saking” here and there, making everyone else feel uncomfortable and on deciding to go outside for a smoke, lo and behold, his wife was called. The irony!

As I’ve just had a baby, I’ve been in and out the hospital a lot. Never once have I had a bad experience. However, I do appreciate some haven’t been as lucky and don’t have the kindest words to say about our dear NHS.

Mind you, I do ask myself if we have expectations that are too high and we’ve reached a point where we believe we should be treated like Mariah Carey.

Personally, I can’t thank the midwifes, staff and doctors enough at the Royal Infirmary, especially Ann and Shereen and the midwifes in ward 211 and the theatre staff/surgeons Andy and Samantha who did an amazing job. However, one person was outstanding was Aislinn the anesthetist. She made it all very special for me. She was so warm, personable and reassuring and was a complete rock throughout the C-section. To say thank you a million times to her wouldn’t be enough. They were all utterly incredible!

It’s not just the physical side to their work that I appreciate; their advice is also massively appreciated. Two days in to being a new mum my nipples were red raw from breastfeeding. On asking for help, a midwife put her hands on my boobs and started squeezing out milk like nobody’s business.

As weird as some might find that, you just have to trust them because they know what they’re doing. Their tricks and hacks are as precious as gold dust. We chatted about expressing and getting a pump to make my milk come in a little quicker as well as it being a must when breastfeeding.

The midwifes recommended Medela to both myself and my friend, who had her baby in Forth Valley two days before me. Most hospitals give you the option to hire a Medela pump if you don’t want to buy one as they can be an expensive investment but a worthwhile one.

I opted for the swing, which is an electric pump (I’d be here all week expressing 20mls with a manual one) and it has been a godsend! I’m ­making so much milk I’ve offered it round for the morning cereal but only get strange looks.

Joking aside, please let’s all cherish this gem and the wonderful people who work for the NHS.

Let’s have less of the comments like the one from the mum in my ward who commented that the food tasted like “rhymes with Timothy White” and please let’s just be thankful.